Breastfeeding: constant learning

World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for newborns up to 6 months of agekeeping it together with complementary feeding until the mother and child want it.

A recommendation that, now, the update of the guide healthy eating in early childhood Edited by the Public Health Agency of Catalonia, it includes a section for nurseries. In this chapter, it is promoted "to continue breastfeeding until two years of age or until the mother and baby want it." And for this reason, "we will work with the nurseries so that, from now on, they can facilitate the continuation of breastfeeding, in person or with the storage of milk when the mother cannot travel." The announcement reinforces the work carried out in the Sant Joan de Reus University Hospital and in the primary care centers of the area in the promotion of breastfeeding. In this regard, the pediatrician, Julia Arroyo, emphasizes that "when we talk about breastfeeding there is no age limitation, since the longer it is maintained, the greater the physical and emotional benefits for the mother and the baby."

Of the advantages for women, in addition to promote the mother-child bondthe midwives coordinator, Lídia Díezhighlights that «It helps to regain weight after the mother has stored fat reserves, during pregnancy, to produce breast milk; it also favors the contraction of the uterus so there is a lower risk of bleeding; decreases the likelihood of postpartum depression; and, in the long term, there is a lower risk of osteoporosis, breast and ovarian cancer.

As regards the babythe pediatrician explains that «in the short term, breastfeeding, which is natural, generates a healthier and more adequate postnatal development and physical evolution; decreases the risk of allergies and intolerances; and from the affective and hormonal point of view it is also more favourable”. Then, Julia Arroyo details, "In the medium and long term, children have a lower risk of obesity, and better neurological evolution and intellectual development, while in adulthood breastfeeding has been associated with a lower risk of obesity, metabolic disease and cardiovascular problems."

the first 60 minutes

The success of breastfeeding depends on the newborn making early skin-to-skin contact and in a prolonged way and clings to the chest in the first hour of life. At the hospital Sant Joan de Reus has been promoting this practice for years and currently it is also being implemented if the birth is by caesarean section. "For this reason, in cesarean deliveries, changing the protocols, we try not to separate the mother from the baby, favoring skin-to-skin contact in the same delivery room, since if the baby is latched on to the breast in the first hour of life, it has been shown that breastfeeding is more successful," says Lidia Díez. Likewise, regarding the keys that contribute to success, Julia Arroyo says that "the first factor is the mother's desire, in addition to other circumstances such as that the pregnancy and childbirth are normal and that the health of both is subsequently good" .

Although there are external factors that still hinder breastfeeding. In this sense, the pediatrician points out that "we observe that women who currently have children have a greater need for support because the culture of breastfeeding is not developed, since we come from generations in which some women have not seen in their environment close to other women breast-feeding. For this reason, he emphasizes that "although in the long run it is the most comfortable, during the first days breastfeeding is a demanding, constant learning process that implies a practically exclusive dedication of the mother to the baby, which is why today's society in some aspects it is not ready.

Finally, both Lidia Díez and Julia Arroyo advocate "promoting education about breastfeeding during pregnancy, since it has been seen that success rates improve among women who have prepared themselves before childbirth and are clear about what to do to be able to breastfeed successfully.

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